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Scotland Act 1998

Section L5: Time
Purpose and Effect

This Section reserves the establishment of timescales and time-zones, the calendar and other matters related to time.


The reservation covers certain matters relating to the determination of time and dates generally.  It does not, extend to the calculation of periods of time for the purposes of the civil law such as the expiry of obligations, or for any other purpose related to devolved matters.

Parliamentary Consideration
Details of Provisions

The reservation covers the designation of the timescale and time zones used in the UK and matters related to them, such as Greenwich Mean Time or Co-ordinated Universal Time; the determination of units of time such as minutes, hours, days, months and years and the calendar generally; the determination of the date of Easter, such as, by the Easter Act 1928; and the determination of summer time, under the Summer Time Act 1972.

Exception from Reservation

There are two exceptions from this reservation:


the computation of periods of time for any purpose such as whether particular days are to be included when periods of time are calculated and determining when obligations expire or become unenforceable for the purposes of the civil law; and


the subject-matter of:


section 1 of the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.  The dates for bank holidays are determined under this section.  The Scottish Parliament is thus able to determine the dates of bank holidays in Scotland and also any public and local holidays in Scotland; and


the Term and Quarter Days (Scotland) Act 1990.  This sets out for Scotland the dates of term days, Whitsunday and Martinmas: 28 May and 28 November respectively, and the other quarter days, Candlemas and Lammas: 28 February and 28 August.  These days are used in various legal documents made under Scots law, such as leases, agreements and undertakings.

Advice to The Queen

Special arrangements for giving advice to The Queen were described in a Prime Ministerial answer on 30 June 1999 (WA col 215) and an associated paper deposited in the House of Commons Library. The Secretary of State for Scotland’s role in providing advice to the Privy Council on Proclamations by Her Majesty in Council under section 1 of the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 altering statutory bank holidays in Scotland etc. has passed to the First Minister.

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